Festival of History Camping Jolly

i love this, and think it is such a fab idea. really more people should join us!! the site has upped its shower and portaloo numbers further, and they were immaculate. we went camping at wicksteed park, joined by nic etc, jax etc and a brief portico. we got there in good time to tent up, eat, settle and get that holiday vibe. i was still migrainous, but standing – as it were! and SB – bless her – was really helpful putting up the tent. none of my children are perfect [just like their parents!] but i have to say how impressed i can be with SB’s thoughtfulness and helpfulness. nic was late, so got to stay in the guest wing of our tent:lol:

Friday chris and girls went out to the park to have a go on some rides, and i joined them after a particularly bad shower when the migraine tabs kicked in – you know i really hate migraines. work takes loads of days out of my life, and then migraine attempts to decimate the rest. i just refuse to be ground down. i arrived to see them all on the carousel with rain pouring off the sides and just roared with laughter for the duration of the ride. i took BB, as neither of us are particularly keen riders!! and SB and chris gallivanted off. this tends to work well, with a few moments joined together, so i could watch SB and teeny be scary on the umbrella ride, but mostly BB wanted to play in the free park. we still have some of the ride tickets left from last year! i do love that wicksteed lets you carry these on. meant bb and i were ‘free’ effectively this year.

eventually we slumped off back to the tent, and jax and kids joined a bit later. SB demonstrated her helpfulness again putting the tent up [well, a bit of pegging anyway!] before all children ran amok. i got dinner started and had all 4 kids in the tent whilst jax and chris went off shopping. unfortunately the petrol ran out, and chris had the spare in the boot. darn! i earned my brownie helpfulness badge by rescuing a family [and their dog!!] and letting them wait in our tent for torrential rain to pass before they could put up their own. dinner did get cooked, friendly chit chat evening and then all up bright and early for kelmarsh

Saturday i was v excited this year, as noticed that instead of the trenches was an agincourt re-enactment. something a bit different hey! and so had planned to start the day with the siege of harfleur part 1. unfortunately an hour on the slip road scuppered that! but part 2 was fab, and i LOVED the raining arrows. thankyou thankyou the english bowmen! SB heckled harry, king of england AND FRANCE by suggesting he should, after all, hang the citizens of harfleur – where do they get this bloodthirtiness from?? thought he did v well with his speech and prancing on horse etc. once more into the breach indeed! so we chatted then to various re-enactors and then met up at the victorian beach and punch and judy. BB v happy with beach, SB with punch and judy, me with meeting up with friends, including unexpected ones from wales! SB wandered off to BZents – always a firm fav. we had already watched the robin hood one, and she went for what ho henry, with chris whilst i supervised BB jumping and playing with Shannon from going against the flow. they had a whale of a time.

SB specifically wanted to talk to people in tents and watch the jousting, so that is what we did, but she got taken by the boer war commentary, so we sat and watched that too. shame we didn’t get to see the balloon up, and we were all on the side of the plucky bitterienders, and discussed the meaning of concentration camp. one of the things i like about lifelong learning and wikipedia are the fact that i have just been whizzling around boer war sites for about an hour, and now know much more than before! it was not something that i had planned to watch, imagining it to be a bit jingoistic [it was], but have been glad that i did, as now have an increased understanding of that bit of history – something i guess festival of history wants to encourage!

anyway, we then hotfooted to the jousting arena, were entertained by peterkin the fool [very funny man] watched our french knight dress, and then really loved the joust. v different from previous jousts we have watched. SB entertained by the idea that there were 2 king henry’s on the field! BB was a grumpalump of immense proportions by this stage, but turning the buggy into a den kept her v entertained. after the joust i called it a day. it was very hot, and it was my first post migraine day, and i really didn’t want migraine to return! so back to wicksteed for dinner and children playing – not quite as smoothly, prob because all tired. Poor SB ended up on the wrong end of some of the fall out, and so i hugged her to sleep as she was all upset and washed out. She hadn’t been perfect to start with, but had had a fright. so she chose the secret garden for me to read to her to calm her down. i did point out that this book starts quite badly, and she said she knew, as listened to story cd. so we had more trauma, because she ‘needed’ to know who would look after her and BB, and would we ever forget they were there etc – i think not! just as i popped out to relax, became aware jax’s big unwell, so a mad dash to get them all packed and in car to drive off home. life is all go here!! did i say the portico’s had arrived?? they had guest wing facilities. :lol:

Sunday morning tent went down fine, the bigger kids went to park on their own – cue MASSIVE meltdown from BB. luckilly portico parent took pity on her and took her off to the park. we all finished detenting and set off for kelmarsh. no traffic at all, so got there pretty much at the same time. I was determined to bring back the legions, so singing the terry deary song we parked ourself infront of the excellent ermine street guard. we were initially with porticos, but ernest immed got stung by wasp – aargh! but ability to swallow nurofen helped. we loved the romans. sb again enthralled, bb not so. since bb so obviously not really wanting to re-enact, we often divided and conquered. we all mosied up to agincourt, talking to redcross and russians on the way. SB being pegged as a lad got offered far more guns to hold than she ever does as a girl :roll: . the weaponsmaster v patiently took them through 1 1/2 swords etc and both girls signed up for childrens drill. we admired the calligraphy.

children’s drill saw BB looking cute. she knew she didn’t have to do it, and just as i said to chris, i think that BB’s had enough and moved forwards, she burst into tears and ran into my arms. awww. i took her off to the craft tent whilst chris watched the rest of the drill, which sb enjoyed. was v impressed by the kaleidoscope craft. it was easy and it worked. on being joined by other family members we said hello to the deependers and then bought icecream and went to the beach~! BB had more fun in the sand, but SB was tempted by the dancers to join in georgian dancing. SB elected to watch another punch and judy, and BB to bob between that and the sand. our final plea from SB was to watch the parachute drop event, so we went down and did that whilst chris and BB stayed in the family zone. we had a good spot, and were impressed, as always, with the parachutes. from this vantage point also watched the grand parade, when the rain started. met up with chris and went via shop [pretty much all gone to bb's disgust] and finally home.

things i missed – the actual agincourt battle. the roman charioteers, the victorian gymkhana, the whole of the parade ground stuff and the archaeol tents. but i think we got loads out of it, again!

4 responses to “Festival of History Camping Jolly

  1. I’m quite exhausted just reading it! Glad you had a fab weekend.

  2. we did kaleidoscopes too, and Small was v impressed with them. Hope that tent was a bit cooler the second day. Did you get your time traveller’s passports? Am hoping for some days out at Fram, must see if we can coordinate :)

  3. Well it was probably cooler, but also very busy. Though me and bb spent a little while in there near then end when it was almsot empty. No didn’t get time travellers passports

  4. Lovely to spend time with you, thanks again for guest wing facilities (and very diplomatic referal to SB’s fright ;)). We all learnt loads at FoH and like you I have learnt a fair bit more following up stuff that sparked interest since we got home.

    We’re thinking of a longer stay next year, maybe Sunday night and even Monday depending on when FoH falls in terms of school holidays.

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